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Cover Story

November 21, 2005
Volume 83, Number 47
p. 13

Crisis And Courage

C&EN interviews Gulf Coast scientists in the aftermath of this fall's hurricanes

Linda Raber

Clyde Dennis/PPG

There is something in human nature that draws us together in times of crisis. Family, friends, neighbors, and strangers work together to help each other. Tragedies often show people at their best, and chemists’ stories of the recent Gulf Coast hurricanes on the pages that follow are fine examples to illustrate the teamwork and concern that mark the closeness of our larger chemistry family.

C&EN reporters interviewed students, professors, and industrial chemists. We heard stories of fear and loss. Several interviewees fought back tears as they told of the devastation and their desire to get back home—or what’s left of home. But they all told stories of hope.

This collection of profiles will give readers a brief, and sometimes poignant, glimpse into the lives of chemical scientists whose lives were wrenched loose from their moorings by Katrina and Rita. Very little is back to normal physically or emotionally. But spirits remain strong.

C&EN’s coverage tells only a few of the stories of the chemical community’s courage during crisis. Many more tales could have been included, such as that of PPG’s Don Handy, pictured above as he helped in New Orleans’ rescue efforts just days after Hurricane Katrina hit the area.

Hurricane Katrina struck while many American Chemical Society members were in Washington, D.C., for the society’s national meeting. ACS governance and staff are particularly concerned about victims of the hurricanes and stand ready to offer assistance to those in need. Please visit for more information.



Jack Stocker, University of New Orleans
Ulrike Diebold and Larry Byers, Tulane University
Jerry Merchant, PPG
Eric Broussard, Xavier University
Cheryl Stevens, Xavier University, and Ed Stevens, University of New Orleans
Saundra Y. McGuire, Isiah M. Warner, and Luigi G. Marzilli, Louisiana State University
William L. Strayham, DuPont
N. Dale Ledford, University of Southern Mississippi
Gerald R. Ehrman, DuPont
Bruce C. Gibb, University of New Orleans
Nitsa and Zeev Rosenzweig’s group, University of New Orleans

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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